Whole life insurance is a rip off for most people. It is never good idea to combine your insurance and investments together (there could be some rare exceptions but for most people it is not a good idea). If you need insurance - get inexpensive term life insurance. Term is low cost and will enable you to adequate coverage. Then you can invest money left over independently of the life insurance company. Cash value policies on the other hand are very expensive and in most cases those who own such policies don't have enough coverage. Do your own independent research so that you can have a clear understanding and don't fall the victim of some life insurance salesmen or 'advisor' selling you the policy which will pay them the most commissions.
The question I like to ask clients is "Do you want to have life insurance for the rest of your life?" If the answer is yes, you'll want to own permanent policies like Whole Life, Variable or Universal Life. If the answer is no, term is a perfect solution. Of course there are multiple variations on the theme, but that's a starting point.
If it's in your budget, get both. There are a lot of seniors out there that are shopping for final expense-type of insurance that wish they had bought a whole life policy sooner. For younger people, given the cost, I can't understand how more younger people don't own term life insurance - specially if they have a family.
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